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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Modi factor, fresh faces in Delhi: Five reasons why BJP won MCD elections

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP swept the municipal corporation polls in Delhi, a remarkable comeback from its poor show in the 2015 assembly election.

delhi Updated: May 29, 2017 13:18 IST
Kumar Uttam and Parvez Sultan
Kumar Uttam and Parvez Sultan
Hindustan Times

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP swept the municipal corporation polls in Delhi, a remarkable comeback from its poor show in the 2015 assembly election. The BJP had then won only three out of 70 assembly segments, but its Wednesday tally stood at 180 out of 270 corporation seats. Its victory rate jumped from about 4% in 20015 to nearly 65% in 2017. Here are four reasons that led to such a massive swing.

Electoral tactic

The BJP realised the changing demographic profile of the national capital and fielded a large number of candidates with a poorvanchal – migrants from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar – background. It did not repeat even a single sitting councillor, most of who were facing a strong anti-incumbency.

The BJP gambled on bhojpuri actor-turned-politician Manoj Tiwari and handed over Delhi’s command to him just four months before the elections with an aim to tap into about 35 lakh purvanchali voters, who had voted en mass to AAP in 2015 assembly elections.

Organisational strength

Three years into power, the BJP has added muscles to its organisational strength. It has grown into world’s largest political party with a cadre base of more than 11 crore. BJP president Amit Shah’s focus on having a vibrant party structure on every booth also paid dividend. Compared to it the Aam Aadmi Party frittered away the lead it had in 2015. It diverted its focus to other states, such as Punjab. The Congress continued to struggle to keep its house in order.

A new constituency

Nearly three years into power, the BJP cultivated a new constituency, successfully projecting the Narendra Modi government as a pro-poor regime. Delhi has a large population that falls within the definition of BPL (below poverty line) and has an equally strong working middle class. The BJP managed to woo both the factions. The slide in AAP’s support among middle class helped the BJP’s case.

Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to remain popular and lead the BJP to electoral victories. He managed to remain free of any corruption taint, as compared to the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi that was mired in controversy over nepotism in government appointments and contracts. The Congress remained in disarray.

AAP’s defeat in Punjab and Goa

The popular perception against the AAP that it had failed to keep its promises made before the election except power subsidy and rebate on water bills went against it. Its drubbing in Goa and poor show in Punjab including defeat in Rajouri Garden bypoll proved to be last nail in the coffin, which helped the BJP.

First Published: Apr 26, 2017 12:28 IST

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